Everything is not well in Houston. Some might say they have a problem. Deshaun Watson is unhappy with the team and wants out. The Texans have kept themselves busy by trying to find a new head coach, most recently interviewing Josh McCown. There has been no public sign of any mending in the relationship between the franchise and their superstar quarterback.
If it happens, a trade will not come quickly. The Texans are going to try and wring everything they can out of whichever team comes a-callin for Watson's services. As they should. Watson is a top-five QB under contract through 2025. Negotiations will be drawn out, and the final price will not be cheap.
Until then, we must be content with the rumor mill to try and forecast Watson's next team. The latest comes from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who reports that the New York Jets are No. 1 on Watson's list of preferred destinations. The Miami Dolphins are No. 2. Which matters a lot because Watson has a no-trade clause, so the Texans can't just take the best deal on the table with no thought for what Watson wants. Per the Herald:
"Watson this week told people the Jets are his top preference among the teams he’d like to be traded to because they hired Robert Saleh to be their coach and Watson values Saleh so much he wanted the Texans to interview him for their vacant head coach job. Watson confirmed reports, circulated for several weeks in national media, he’d also welcome playing for the Dolphins but said that is his second choice at this time."
What a reversal of fortunes this would be for the Jets, huh? Going from what appears to be the most disliked coach in the NFL to hiring one so respected it could land them a franchise quarterback. All this after a season where most believed Gang Green would not win a single game, then winning just enough to lose out on the No. 1 overall pick and Trevor Lawrence.
The big issue in a potential Jets trade is who they would offer other than Sam Darnold and draft picks. Darnold was selected third overall a couple years ago for a reason, but how high his ceiling is is very much in question. Houston will need more than prime picks in this year's draft and a bunch of future selections along with Darnold. The Jets just don't have that much to offer. Quinnen Williams looks like a good player but wouldn't make or break a deal. New York might not agree to trade away Mekhi Becton because having Watson is nice but it will be difficult to win games if he's forced to run for his life with no talent on the offensive line. Other than that, the talent pool is real shallow.
But all that and potentially more will be what it takes to land a player of Watson's caliber. The Jets have been bad for a long time now. If there is even the slightest chance of getting Watson into a Jets uniform, they should do whatever it takes.